The loquacious, award-winning raconteur and NYC stand-up comic, Jeff Simmermon, hopped on the mic for the show's second foray into COMEDIC STORYTELLING using the principles he has taught and written about. This episode features his own published material and a story by Gastor Almonte from Comedy Central's "This Is Not Happening"
ormer NYC comedy wunderkind, now a full grown rocket-to-the-top funny manchild, Usama Siddiquee, returns to the show to explore the central pillar of laughter, CONTRAST, through killer bits by Nate Bargatze, Andrew Schulz, and Demetri Martin.
Hilarious comedy legend, Jackie Kashian, explains how to joke about FAMILY in stand-up via bits from her 4 albums, incl. #1 best seller, "I Am Not The Hero Of This Story"
Undeniably funny, whitely awkward Geoffrey Asmus joins us to explore THE SETUP in stand-up comedy. Like most things in life, most of the work goes into setting up. If the punchline is the slide, and the setup is the stairs to the top. What is a setup? How can you rework a setup to fix a joke? And even more comedy nerd questions! We also have a great time listening to and frog-dissecting material from two opposite ends of the stand-up spectrum: Rodney Dangerfield and Ari Shaffir.
Harrison Greenbaum shows how he actually applies all his theories from part 1 of JOKE THEORY to his stand-up writing and performance. We go step-by-step through some of his best material, laughing and geeking out the whole way. It's fucking awesome, so just listen to it. But make sure you've heard part 1 first, ok? (I'm so cranky, I've been working through technical fuckery on this second half for days.)
The magically funny, super accomplished, and hyper-analytical Comedy Cellar comic, Harrison Greenbaum, delivers a masterclass on JOKE THEORY! He enthusiastically shares his favorite joke theories he's learned from others, and he generously outlines his own original theories. These are, truly, some of the best and most actionable approaches to jokes we've ever heard!
Nationally touring, Brooklyn based comic Brian Enck examines COURAGE in stand-up comedy. It takes courage to start and to keep going. It takes courages to speak your "truth" or to speak candidly about your flaws, mistakes, or personal weirdness. It takes courage to look the fool. Yet it's that vulnerability that can yield some of the most powerfully funny comedy experiences. What are some tricks performers use to get the courage to act despite those fears? We cover this and a lot more via bits by Dave Chappelle, Tig Nataro, Brian Enck, and Jeff McBride.
NYC comedian, actor, & writer Sally Ann Hall explores the role of CONFIDENCE in stand-up comedy & and life via bits by Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, and Mike Birbiglia. This one's a delicious ear treat!
Newly-minted Netflix "specialist" Kate Willett gets down and dirty with us on stand-up ANECDOTES. Anecdotes are distinct from storytelling, usually lacking the storytelling framework--beginning, middle, and end. They're "pointless." There's no emotional journey. Lives are not changed by an anecdotal incident. Yet these flimsy, insubstantial retellings of inconsequential events are the backbone of a lot of the best stand-up comedy. We explore this and more via bits by Brian Regan, Maria Bamford, and Kate herself.
Jacob Williams (MTV's Wild 'N Out, Colbert, America's Got Talent, & a lot more) KILLED it in this episode! We absolutely could not stay on topic, and so what? This conversation was UNDENIABLY funny! Between all the goofing around, we hit every angle we could think of on SELF-DEPRECATION in stand-up comedy via bits by Adam Sandler, Demetri Martin, Tom Segura, David Cross, and Jacob Williams himself.
Fresh from a set on the Late Late Show with James Corden and just two days after dropping his new Comedy Central Records album, “Innocence,” the highly credited and ridiculously funny Joe Zimmerman graced us with a wide-ranging discussion loosely focused on PACING in stand-up comedy. Also of note, Joe responded to John Mulaney’s fervent public wish that he could steal one of Joe’s bits.
Award-winning comedy writer and stand-up comic, Dan Perlman, shares his perspective on PERSPECTIVE in stand-up comedy by geeking out with us on great material from Roy Wood Jr., Joe Rogan, and John Mulaney.
Carolines Breakout Artist Series headliner, Norlex Belma, breaks down THE ROOM in stand-up comedy. When comedians talk about the room, they're referring to a lot of performance parameters: the feel of the crowd, the kind of venue, the demographics, the kind of comedy scene, and the setup of the performance space itself, plus a lot about how he constructed his hour. Lots of comedy craft!
Conan alum Mike Recine is a national headliner & a hysterically twisted joke writer--the perfect guy to explore WRONG comedy. This hilariously earnest chat covers bits that are morally "wrong," factually incorrect, or illogical using material from Dave Chappelle, Patrice O'Neal, Anthony Jeselnik, & Mike Recine himself.
Jeff is off to Burning Man. We'll be back with our regular bi-weekly production schedule in the fall. For more information about the coolest fucking thing I've ever participated in, see burningman.org.
Andrea Allan, an aggressive, crazy, "wild animal" of a comedian, joins us to chart COMMITMENT through stand-up comedy via bits by Doug Stanhope, Eddie Murphy, and Kurt Metzger. We have a blast in this very dirty episode exploring commitment to character, to tone, to material, to act outs, and to oneself.
Happy 4th! Here's a GREAT mini-episode featuring the prolific linguistic genius, Myq Kaplan. Myq hilariously shares how he approaches presenting a minority opinion; and he gives in-depth explanations on both his process and attitude for generating new material.
Nationally touring stand-up comedian & Aqua Teen Hunger Force alum, Andy Sandford, revs his writer's Prius to taut WORD ECONOMY. Levity is brevity, but word economy means more than that. We laugh and pick apart some great bits by Jeff Caldwell, Ellen Degeneres, and Steven Wright.
Boston-forged comic Luke Touma tackles HECKLERS to explore why people heckle, different kinds of hecklers, and how to deal with them. What specific tactics, tricks, and attitudes work best? We talk about the instigator, the attention whore, the homophobe, the hater, the moral authority, the fact checker, and more. We share comedy war stories and have a blast listening to explosive heckler take-downs by Chris D'Elia, Joe Klocek, and Arj Barker. This episode was fun as fuck, and fuck is FUN.
The all-too-likable and contagiously funny comic, Kenny DeForest (Seth Meyers, HBO's Crashing), joins us to discuss LIKABILITY. What makes a comic likable or not? How does that relate to authenticity, status, and confidence? And some great stuff from Patrice O'Neal, Eminem (!?), and Kenny himself.
The brilliant storyteller and comedian Doug Smith explores the use of TRAGEDY in stand-up with us through a seminal bit by Patton Oswalt and a story Doug recently performed on Comedy Central's "This Is Not Happening."
Storyteller extraordinaire Kaytlin Bailey opens the legs of her life to investigate the role of TRUTH in stand-up comedy. What kinds of truth are there, and what is the role of the comedian as it relates to telling the truth? We explore this and a lot more via bits by Ali Wong, Chris Rock, and Kaytlin herself.
Hey, we've got an announcement.
Multi-talented, very funny and passionately neurotic Gianmarco Soresi explores ANGER in stand-up. All three half-Jewish white fellas share temper problems, so we talk tantrums, yelling, when anger goes wrong, and why impotent rage is so damn funny. How do you make things ok so people can laugh while you're expressing genuine anger? We laugh and analyze through bits by four VERY different comedic anger styles: Bill Burr, Sam Kinison, John Mulaney, and Mary Mack.
The hugely funny & big-hearted Cyrus McQueen boomed out his theories on CHARACTERS in stand-up. The Last Comic Standing alum jumped in and out of character throughout the episode as we discussed what a character is in stand-up, how characters enhance a performance, and a lot more.
Comedy Central's Anthony DeVito, an absurdly likable human being and an amazing comedian, deconstructs THE ALBUM with us. Step-by-step, we bust up at highlights from his 2017 debut album, "Dream Occupation."
This is part 2 of the TABOO recording. If you haven't listened to part 1, go do that first. In this part, we talk about Tristan's history of being bullied and (sort of?) bullying and how that influenced his dark sense of humor. We also listen to him drone on about the unique perspective and skillset of his improv background, failing with fun, and the function of joy in comedy.
Absurdly dark Tristan Smith wades into the nasty, deep end of the comedy pool: TABOO feat.This is one part craft and comedy theory and one part societal debate, all marinated in total fuckery. We dive right in with some David Cross, followed by the great "Kramer Meltdown," Dave Chappelle's response to it, and then George Carlin's seminal bit from the 90's about taboo words and their context. And we argue the bejesus out it all.
The very accomplished, always funny "edgy joke slinger," Mark Normand shares his theories on joke writing, his writing and rehearsal processes, and goes on a couple epic rants on the state of comedy today. This episode is THE SHIT!!!
Gene Getman tackles IRREVERENCE in stand-up comedy by messing with the hosts and listening to bits by Doug Stanhope, Chad Daniels, and Martin Urbano. We think it's our funniest episode yet.
This is just a whispered "thank you" to everyone who's listened over the first year of the podcast.
The brilliantly prolific Comedy Cellar regular, Dan LaMorte, nails it in this episode on MENTAL HEALTH in stand-up. It felt real, it felt deep, and it's damn funny. He's got some awesome tips to share and a helluva tale to tell. Car crashes, brain injury, deaths, break-ups, and a mental institution! And we tear open jokes by Marc Maron and Patton Oswalt.
The charmingly silly, head-a-shavin', nationally-tourin' stand-up comedian, Carmen Lagala, joined us for a timely chat about GENDER in stand-up comedy. We cover a lot of ground with some killer bits by Bill Burr, Liza Treyger, and Carmen herself.
Nationally touring comedian & social media sensation, Brett Druck, explores "REINTERPRETATION" via bits by TJ Miller, Hannibal Buress, & Dane Cook. I was laughing out loud editing it, and I was the one running the recording session! (this is Jeff talking, obviously)
Love goddess of stand-up comedy, Abby Feldman, descends to share her "embrace and accept" approach to stand-up and life. Want some depth with your commute? We've got it for ya, with clips from Bill Hicks, Marc Maron, and Bo Burnham. This one is amazing!
Heady and hilarious comic Dave Lester covers CROWD WORK through his wealth of experience and material from Patrice O'Neal, Bo Burnham, and Big Jay Oakerson.
The dark and bubbly NYC comedian, Camille Theobald, spends her evening with us laughing at bits by Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, and Tom Segura. We playfully examine the role played by TENSION & RELEASE in stand-up performance and writing.
Comic Sam Evans explores "THAT'S A BIT," the often maddening process to go from fresh idea to working joke via bits by Gary Gulman, Tom Papa, and Eric Andre. There's great stuff here about not chickening out on an idea, when to give up on one, and the importance of collaboration. It's definitely a craft-heavy episode with some dynamite comedy bits.
Genius joke writer and stand up comic, Jay Welch, plumbs the depths of the exquisite laughter born of HONEST SADNESS. We explore these ideas in a sometimes funny, sometimes somber, but always interesting episode with some amazingly, touchingly funny stand-up material that deals with envy, addiction, and death. Funny stuff, right? Actually, yes.
Comedian Jon Newman snorkels through the choppy waters of "CHALLENGING PREMISES" via bits by Jerrod Carmichael, Bill Burr, and Chris Rock. What constitutes a challenging premise? Taboo? Complexity? And what devices do comics use to bring audiences into mental territory they ordinarily avoid or find too complex to be funny? Let's do this!
Commissioner and co-founder of NYC Comedy Fight Club, Matt Maran, dropped by to slice up comedy ROASTS, via sets by Greg Giraldo, Bill Burr, and Gilbert Gottfried.
Comedic storyteller Mike Guild hilariously breaks down two comedic stories by the hosts in a deeply personal "part 2" on comedic storytelling. It's funny, poignant, and informative. But listen to part 1 first!
Master comedic storyteller, Mike Guild, displays his zest for the craft by walking the hosts through a bit by Dave Chappelle and by telling a story live on the podcast! There was so much here that it needed two parts.
We’ve got more episodes on the way, but it’s summer. Weddings, relationships, shows, etc. In the meantime, have a listen to a comedian Sandip Sen, Harrison Tweed, and Jeff McBride just geek the fuck out about the sadly deceased comedy genius, Greg Giraldo. We listen to his closing bit, called “Happy Birfday” from his 2009 album "Midlife Vices." We’re so giddy over it that we don’t even have a decent analysis between three of us. Then we listen to one little joke from George Carlin that shows what you can make funny once you’ve been doing it for four decades.
CW Headley is a very funny person whose hilarious perspective is informed by a need for reassurance to which anyone can relate, a universal human need he renders funny by its specific CW intensity. In this episode, all three comedians lay bare their underlying primary insecurities as they explore how "relatability" functions in stand-up.
Fantastic stand up comic and writer Peter Revello is the perfect guest to theorize about dark, black humor. And that's what this episode is all about--how and why we have a hearty laugh at bad things. Apropos to Peter's philosophy background, this episode lends itself to exploratory debate; so if you love nerding out about how humor works, you'll love this.
NYC comedian, Fumi Abe, chops it up with the hosts to take apart a heavy-duty tool of the craft of stand-up, "visualization." Using his trademark wit and insight, he helps us investigate how the greats make movies in our heads. This episode is on point with side-bruising bit selections from Nate Bargatze, Maria Bamford, Dave Chappelle, and Daniel Tosh.
We're on vacation for the 4th of July, so here's a short outtake where Jeff gets frustrated at dealing with two meandering ADHD minds at once. He finally just gives in to Casey James Salengo and Harrison being 100% type B. Enjoy!
Khalid Rahmaan is, in his own words, a terrible driver, a wonderful snuggler, and a Brooklyn-based standup comedian. His hysterically intelligent comedy weaves elements of politics, race, and family; it's talking about real things in a funny way that lights his comedic fire. Oh, and he HATES clapter. This episode is dedicated to exploring comedy influences.
Casey James Salengo is a New York stand up comic, writer, and actor. He's a lovably funny guy who likes things simple and hilariously acknowledges his refusal to learn from his life experience. He is the very essence is laissez-faire, and it really works for him. He's a master of carefully selecting the right words to compliment his theatrical comedy style, and some very good things have come his way recently. So this episode explores two themes: "word choice" in material and "opportunities" in show business.